Radiation therapy for cancer patients works by ionizing damage to nuclear DNA, primarily by creating double-strand breaks (DSB). A major shortcoming of traditional radiation therapy is the set of side effect associated with its long-range interaction with nearby tissues. Low-energy Auger electrons have the advantage of an extremely short effective range, minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Consequently, the isotope 99mTc, an Auger electron source, is currently being studied for its beneficial potential in cancer treatment. We examined the dose effect of a pyrene derivative 99mTc complex on plasmid DNA by using gel electrophoresis in both aqueous and methanol solutions. In aqueous solutions, the average yield per decay for double-strand breaks is 0.011±0.005 at low dose range, decreasing to 0.0005±0.0003 in the presence of 1 M dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The apparent yield per decay for single-strand breaks (SSB) is 0.04±0.02, decreasing to approximately a fifth with 1 M DMSO. In methanol, the average yield per decay of DSB is 0.54±0.06 and drops to undetectable levels in 2 M DMSO. The SSB yield per decay is 7.2±0.2, changing to 0.4±0.2 in the presence of 2 M DMSO. The 95% decrease in the yield of DSB in DMSO indicates that the main mechanism for DSB formation is through indirect effect, possibly by cooperative binding or clustering of intercalators. In the presence of non-radioactive ligands at a near saturation concentration, where radioactive Tc compounds do not form large clusters, the yield of SSB stays the same while the yield of DSB decreases to the value in DMSO. DSBs generated by 99mTc conjugated to intercalators are primarily caused by indirect effects through clustering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)